The Sections of a Marketing Plan

There are five primary sections to a well-written marketing plan. First, is the introduction. In this section, an overview of all the different marketing strategies that will be used to create visibility for a brand or its products and services should be briefly outlined. This includes discussing specific online marketing strategies, print advertising strategies, and any type of public relations campaign that will be undertaken from the onset of operations. This section of the marketing plan should be about one page in length given that it will provide a top-level view of the overall operations of the marketing department while providing a guide for the rest of the marketing plan. Including graphics and charts, most marketing plans run anywhere from 18 to 24 pages. Approximately half of the work of the marketing plan is specific for the costs associated with each type of advertising, marketing, or public relations campaign that will be carried out.

Specific parts of the introduction can be done in a bullet point fashion to provide a brief overview of the rest of the document. Examples of this include briefly discussing local print advertisements, sponsorship of local sports teams, any type of regional advertising will be completed, and what online marketing campaigns will be engaged.

The next chapter of your marketing plan deals specifically with online marketing strategies. There are many different ways that you can expand and create visibility through usage of the Internet as well as social media. Of all the different sections within the marketing plan, this has become the most important. Nearly everyone has a mobile phone that can be used to find local businesses, read reviews about businesses, and receive contact information for any specific organization. As such, a bulk of the text of your marketing plan should be specific for online marketing strategies.

An example of this would be discussing things such as use of social media in order to create a greater degree of brand awareness. This includes maintaining profiles on popular social platforms including FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Special important should be made as a release discussing how much money is going to be spent on a monthly basis for online marketing activities. This includes carefully crafting a budget that showcases what percentage of overall marketing expenditures will be geared towards paid social media promotion, search engine optimization, as well as pay per click marketing.

Generally, the online marketing strategy chapter is broken down into two sections – social media and search engine marketing. Again, as it relates to social media – this should focus substantially on usage of FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube as these are the most popular social media platforms in the world.

By developing videos as well as well-crafted social media posts, a business can receive a substantial amount of traffic to their website via viral marketing messages. If you are unfamiliar with this type of marketing than it may be in your best interest to hire a social media consultant that can aggressively handle this aspect of your marketing operations. Although social media consulting firms are expensive, a substantial amount of time can be saved by outsourcing this work to a company note knows exactly what they’re doing.

The same applies for search engine optimization strategies given that this is a complex method of marketing that requires time, effort, and patience. Many search engine optimization firms estimate that it takes anywhere from three months to six months for this type of marketing campaign to become effective. As it relates to the cost of these expenditures, most SCO firms charge anywhere from $500 all the way up to $10,000 per month to carry out a moderate to large scale search engine marketing campaign. A substantial amount of this work is done through content marketing.

The third chapter of the marketing plan deals with your demographics. This should include discussing the types of customers that your targeting, their age, annual household income, and specific aspects of their life that will make your product or service stand out to them. A thorough demographic analysis should be developed as almost all marketing campaigns center around targeting this very specific type of customer. Many marketing firms on a regional level can assist you with developing appropriate demographic analysis given the product or service that you offered to the general public.

The fourth chapter of your marketing plan to deal with your print advertising strategies. It should be noted that many companies have decided to either eliminate or heavily scale back their print related marketing given that most businesses are now found online. However, for some businesses – like restaurants – it is still important to distribute flyers and coupons to these customers so that they will come to the location. Most print advertising that is distributed is specific for retailers as well as food /beverage businesses there trying to drive traffic specifically to their locations.

The fifth chapter of the marketing plan is specific for the differentiating factors that are taken into account regarding products and services offered. This analysis should focus heavily on the benefits of using your products or services, and how the business is differentiated from other competitors in the target market. Usually, this chapter runs about one to two pages.

The final section of the marketing plan deal specifically with the anticipated return on investment for all of the different types of marketing and advertising that will be undertaken by the business. This includes having a number of tables that showcase the anticipated revenues of the company as a function of how much money you spent on marketing activities. Below are images of how these charts look and how these calculations are made:

Marketing Plan Revenue Overview
Marketing Plan Revenue Overview
Marketing Plan - Localized Target Market Analysis
Marketing Plan – Localized Target Market Analysis
Marketing Plan -Demographic Analysis
Marketing Plan -Demographic Analysis
Marketing Plan - ROI Analysis
Marketing Plan – ROI Analysis

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